James Henderson

Vietnam… a beacon of tech innovation and economic resilience

Vietnam’s business economy is currently experiencing robust growth, driven by strategic reforms, foreign investment and strong trade exports.

With a gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate projected to have expanded by 6.93% during the second quarter of 2024, the government’s focus on digital transformation and green energy initiatives is paying dividends through the attraction of on-the-ground investment from global technology giants and sustainable enterprises.

Most recently, Cisco unveiled plans to pilot projects to accelerate digital transformation in Vietnam’s National Infrastructure, Public Sector and Business Ecosystem under its Country Digital Acceleration (CDA) program.

Beyond technology, trade agreements and infrastructural advancements continue to further solidify Vietnam’s position as a critical manufacturing hub, hosting factories from titans of industry such as Samsung, Intel, LG, Nike, Adidas, Ford, Toyota and Honda among others.

Today, the country stands tall as a beacon of technology innovation and economic resilience in Southeast Asia.

“Business and end-user appetite for innovation in Vietnam is growing rapidly,” said Cuong Nguyen, Managing Director of NashTech Vietnam.

Cuong Nguyen (NashTech Vietnam)

“Vietnam has been experiencing strong economic growth in recent years and is predicted to achieve high growth rates in the coming years. The government has been actively promoting innovation and entrepreneurship as a key driver of this growth.”

Within that context, Nguyen reported a “significant increase” in the number of start-ups and technology companies emerging from and entering Vietnam, particularly in the fields of e-commerce, fintech and logistics. The country has been attracting increasing amounts of foreign investment in such areas.

“At the same time, there is also a growing demand for innovative products and services among Vietnamese consumers, particularly within the young and tech-savvy population,” Nguyen added. “The use of mobile devices and social media is widespread, and there is a strong interest in new technologies and innovative business models.

“Overall, the appetite for innovation in Vietnam is strong and there is a lot of potential for growth in this area. However, there are still challenges to overcome, including issues around intellectual property [IP] protection, access to funding and a lack of skilled talent in some areas.”

Based on customer interaction and market engagement, Nguyen said organisations today are seeking to solve a variety of business challenges with technology. Specially, key agenda items include:

  • Digital transformation: Many organisations are focused on transforming operations and processes to become more digital and data driven. This involves adopting new technologies and tools, such as cloud computing, artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT), to streamline operations and improve efficiency.
  • Cyber security: With the increasing frequency and sophistication of cyber attacks, businesses are investing heavily in cyber security technologies to protect sensitive data and IP. This includes tools such as firewalls, intrusion detection and prevention systems and encryption.
  • Customer engagement: Companies are using technology to improve customer engagement and enhance customer experience levels. This involves using tools such as customer relationship management (CRM) systems, chatbots and personalised marketing to better understand and meet end-user needs.
  • Data analytics: Data is a critical asset for many organisations amid investment in data analytics to gain insights that can help them make better decisions. Specifically, business intelligence (BI) platforms, predictive analytics and machine learning (ML) algorithms.
  • Collaboration: As remote and distributed work becomes more common in Vietnam, businesses are turning to collaboration technologies such as video conferencing, project management software and team messaging platforms to keep employees connected and productive.

“Overall, technology is seen as a key enabler of business growth and competitiveness, and organisations are investing in a wide range of solutions to solve these and other business challenges,” Nguyen added.

Taking a tech roadmap to Vietnam

Since launching the business in 2000 – kick-started by the opening of a first delivery centre in Hanoi – NashTech has expanded at speed and scale across Vietnam and into international markets.

Fast forward to 2024 and the solution provider has 21 offices and nine delivery centres spanning 15 countries and housing more than 2300 qualified engineers.

Operating as part of Nash Squared – a global digital services consultancy headquartered in the UK – NashTech deploys technology offerings and services to customers globally, while sister businesses specialise in talent recruitment.

Fuelling this level of expansion is a technology roadmap aligned to the core pillars of data, AI, cloud, cyber security, robotic process automation (RPA) and blockchain.

“Our mission is to create the best solutions powered by excellence in our people and technology with the vision to unlock value for our customers,” Nguyen highlighted. “We have a unique strength where our people, business and technology meets,

“We can provide a full spectrum of talent and technology services to our customers. It’s a one-stop-shop that provides total solutions for our customers.”

As a global player supported by a main delivery hub in Vietnam, navigating market conditions across the world is commonplace.

With three developments centres located in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Da Nang, a top priority for Nguyen and his team is to continually develop technology talent in Vietnam.

“We help technology talent in Vietnam work in a good environment to advance their career aligned to international standards,” Nguyen added.

Yet Nguyen accepted that competition for talent ranks as the most pressing challenge facing NashTech in the local market today.

Vietnam is highly-regarded as one of the fastest-growing locations for software engineers to excel meaning the country is now a hunting ground for quality expertise.

“Ensuring the Vietnamese IT labour market grows more sustainably and for the long-term is our top challenge,” Nguyen said. “This is as well as ensuring talents in Vietnam have better career development support to avoid ruining their careers with short-term job opportunities.”

Whether on talent or technology, Nguyen places strong emphasis on the sharing of best practices and expertise that NashTech has acquired from many years of serving customers in Vietnam and international markets.

“This helps to fast track and solve business problems thorough the excellence of our people and technology,” he added.

In the current market climate – whether locally, regionally or globally – a high proportion of technology providers have embarked on scaling down initiatives in an attempt to reduce financial pressure and weather the economic storm.

“Many companies are shrinking down,” Nguyen confirmed. “But we see this as a good opportunity to acquire businesses and expand our footprint.”

Recently, the business acquired Knoldus to expand capabilities in North America, supported by a solid delivery team in India – “this is the kind of opportunity that we want to capitalise on in the short-term.”


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